Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education



Front Page

World

UK

UK Politics

Business

Sci/Tech

Health

Education

Sport

Entertainment

Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Archive
Feedback
Low Graphics
Help

Wednesday, November 17, 1999 Published at 12:33 GMT


UK Politics

'Anti-sleaze' reforms cap election spending

The anti-sleaze package draws on recommendations from Lord Neill

The government will impose a statutory cap on election campaign spending by political parties as part of a wide-ranging "anti-sleaze" package of reforms.

The Queen's Speech
The Political Parties and Referendums Bill will also outlaw foreign donations and require the names of large donors to be disclosed.

The bill draws on the recommendations of the anti-sleaze Committee on Standards in Public Life, chaired by Lord Neill.

It will also lay down rules for referendum campaigns, providing "modest support" from public funding for umbrella organisations campaigning on either side of the issue.

The provisions contained in the bill will have implications on the government's plans to hold a referendum, at some as-yet unspecified date, on signing up to the European single currency.

While the bill will set spending limits on the parties and other organisations campaigning in a referendums, the government argues that it would be impractical to try to equalise the sums exactly.

Instead, the aim will be to try to ensure that particular parties or other organisations do not have a "disproportionate voice" simply due to the wealth at their disposal.

The government of the day will be prevented from distributing literature to the public in the 28-day period prior to any national referendum.

The bill will also establish an independent Electoral Commission which will be responsible for registering political parties and overseeing their donations and spending, as well as promoting knowledge of systems of government and the democratic process.

A separate measure, the Representation of the People Bill, will introduce new electoral procedures, including allowing local authorities to pilot arrangements such weekend voting, supermarket polling booths and electronic voting.

The government said the bill would make it easier for disabled people, the homeless, remand prisoners and people in mental hospitals to register and vote.



Advanced options | Search tips




Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©


UK Politics Contents

A-Z of Parliament
Talking Politics
Vote 2001

Relevant Stories

03 Jun 99 | UK Politics
When cash means controversy

12 Jan 99 | UK Politics
Tory Bill for 'fair' referendums

09 Nov 98 | UK Politics
Reveal big donors, Tories challenged

30 Sep 98 | Labour Conference
Labour funding challenge to Tories

29 Aug 98 | Politics
Row over party spending caps





Internet Links


Home Office


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.




In this section

Livingstone hits back

Catholic monarchy ban 'to continue'

Hamilton 'would sell mother'

Straw on trial over jury reform

Blairs' surprise over baby

Conceived by a spin doctor?

Baby cynics question timing

Blair in new attack on Livingstone

Week in Westminster

Chris Smith answers your questions

Reid quits PR job

Children take over the Assembly

Two sword lengths

Industry misses new trains target